Today, Henry went snow skiing for the first time in his life, and I joined him. The last time I skied, George H.W. Bush was president – back when I still had knee cartelidge and my original ACL. I was a more than a little anxious to get back on the slopes, but Henry has been so excited about learning how to ski, I had to try. So, at 6 am this morning, with a brace on each knee, little Fryman and I pulled the minivan out of the Fry Lodge driveway on our way to Mt. Baker. As Henry slept on the way up the mountain, I kept saying to myself, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy.”
Crazy? Yeah, crazy awesome. At several points during the day, both Henry and I said to each other, “This is amazing.”
We were the eager beavers of the mountain. With a parking spot right in front of the ski rental shop, we were first in line to sign up for lessons. Henry looked a little panicked when I told him we couldn’t be in the same ski instruction class, but he confidently joined his group as we went our separate ways for 90 minutes to learn the snow plow and how to turn.
A lot has changed in 30 years. Skis are shorter, bindings are more forgiving, and boots are a hell of a lot more comfortable. Over the course of my lesson, my muscles somehow remembered how to ski, and I almost felt 17 again. When I rejoined Henry post lesson, it was clear his life had changed forever. I seriously don’t think he’s ever had this much fun doing anything.
After dozens of chairlift rides, and as the sun started to set, we called it a day. On the drive down the mountain, Henry decided we’re going skiing again this Thursday. He also gave me some of his reactions to the day. He thought it was great that we didn’t have to pay each time we got on the chair lift (I agree). He also admitted that he’d envisioned something completely different. For example, he’d expected us to take the chair lift up the mountain, ski around a bit, and then take the lift back down. He thought the actual way they do it is way better (I agree).
Winter at Fry Lodge just got a lot more exciting.